SRINAGAR The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Wednesday sought the information of amount provided by the Ministry of Women and Child Development Union of India to the J&K for the purpose of purchase and supply of nutritional items for Anganwari Centers in the State. Hearing a public interest litigation, a Division Bench of Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Alok Aradhe passed the direction after hearing advocate Shafkat Nazir, counsel for the petitioner, who submitted that despite the life of procurement committee having expired, neither the committee was given any extension nor any approval from administrative side. He claimed that Mission Director J&K Integrated Child Development Services/ Scheme (ICDS), Srinagar in total disregard has made almost Rs 32 crores of payment to the contractors who are supplying substandard nutritional items to these centers.
The petitioner organization through the medium of the PIL voiced its grievance about the method and manner of procurement and purchase of the nutritional items required for distribution among more than 15 lakh children belonging to disadvantaged communities through about 30,000 Anganwadi Centers across the state.
The Integrated Child Development Service (ICDS) was launched in India in the year 1975 with very active support from United Nations International Childrens Emergency Fund (UNICEF), the petitioner said.
In India there are around 15 lakh Anganwadi Centers which implement this scheme. UNICEF continues to provide financial and technical assistance to run this scheme along with the World Bank.
In Jammu & Kashmir state as per official sources there are around 30,000 Anganwadi centers. The
implementation of the scheme attracted many controversies throughout the country and resulted in multiple litigations in High Courts and also in the Supreme Court of India, the petitioner said.
The Supreme Court of India in a bunch of writ petitions, appeals and petitions of public interest passed various interim orders from time to time, the petitioner said.
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